NEW SECRETARY GENERAL’S VIEW

NEW SECRETARY GENERAL’S VIEW

As I assume the role of the SG from the 01st May, 2024, I want to reflect on the task ahead of me during this term of office.

I take this opportunity to thank the Lesotho Red Cross leadership/NEC for assigning me to manage the affairs of the National Society and see the 2023-2027 Strategic Plan being implemented. I come to the helm of this National Society when there are many challenges facing the world, especially the Humanitarian Sector. It is therefore an honor for me to realize that the leadership has put its trust on me to take it through these adversities the NS is facing.

Our NS has numerous challenges including the declining volunteer base where we see the lowest entity of the NS which are branches fading. Many people are not sure what is the role of today’s Lesotho Red Cross. We are therefore duty bound to resuscitate the branches and ensure we recruit fit-for-purpose volunteers who  understand the mandate of Red Cross.

Our NS is facing financial challenges as the donor space continues to shrink. It is my duty to expand our resource base by attracting partners that see value in working with us. We are currently improving our property assets and we hope to diversify our income streams by being self-reliant. We are in critical conversations with different Partner National Societies and we now have British Red Cross on board. We will soon sign an MOU with the Spanish Red Cross and later in the year we will be talking with the Chinese Red Cross. These partnerships are meant to reinforce our capabilities and efforts to serve our communities.

Our NS is now in talks with the Government of Lesotho to enter into a cooperation arrangement and strengthen our auxiliary role. We intend to strengthen our relationship with specific departments in the areas of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, Education, Health, Food Security, Climate Change and Social Welfare. It is my role to lead these conversations and turn them into practical partnerships with such government departments. We plan to fully engage with our Patrons and ensure we deliver to their expectations.

Our NS is undergoing a realignment process where we seek to balance the 2023-2027 Strategic demands and the skill sets of our human capital. This is a sensitive process and we are partnering with International Federation of Red Cross to support the NS to diligently see this process through. The outcome of this process is a relevant NS in the humanitarian sector with skilled staff to deliver the necessary interventions to the communities.

Being a team leader of a diverse organization like LRCS is a mammoth task and I look forward to the support of my colleagues, the volunteers, the members, the leadership in the form of Branches, Divisions and National Committees, partners, IFRC and government of Lesotho to assist me to deliver on the mandate of the 2023-2027 Strategic intends.

I remain the servant of Basotho.

Yours sincerely,

Sechaba Mokhameleli- the New LRCS SG.

LRCS LAUNCHES DREF PROJECT

LRCS LAUNCHES DREF PROJECT

Lesotho Red Cross Society (LRCS) in collaboration with Disaster Management Authority (DMA) launched a Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) project at LRCS headquarters in Maseru on Tuesday 30th April 2024. The purpose of the launch was to assist over 150 households affected by heavy rains that occurred in December 2023 in Maseru and Quthing with what is cash and voucher assistance.

When officially opening the launch, the acting Secretary General of LRCS Mr. Sechaba Mokhameleli outlined that LRCS is the government’s right-hand man when it comes to disaster management hence LRCS had to take charge. He further stated that usually response to disasters happens in a 72-hour period, but since it was late in December and offices had closed for the holidays, it took longer than expected.   Mr Mokhameleli pointed out that this launch does not mean its only now that LRCS is helping the victims; rather, the victims had already been assisted with psychosocial support and food parcels with support from the DMA.

“This is where the victims will be rewarded cash for them to meet their needs. Cash and voucher assistance will be used through service providers such as Vodacom with their Mpesa and Econet with their Ecocash. Also, there is a contract to ensure that stipends really do buy necessary equipment.” Mr. Mokhameleli stated.

Miss Bongie, a delegate from International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) told the audience what the IFRC is and why it helped LRCS in this time of need. She alliterated that the IFRC is meant to support its delegate societies through mobilisation of resource. Furthermore, she stated that the IFRC plans to be proactive in order to prepare for disasters before they occur.

The President of the LRCS Mr. Hareteke Nkhetsé notified the audience that the LRCS is always the first to arrive at a disaster site and the last to go. The president through the help of the finance team, illustrated how this system is to operate and even went as far as completing a transaction where 58 families received the stipends. In his closing remarks, the president showed that this is what LRCS is all about; lending a helping hand.

ABOUT LRCS YOUTH PRESIDENT (PHEKO PHERA)

ABOUT LRCS YOUTH PRESIDENT (PHEKO PHERA)

Pheko Phera is a driven and motivated individual hailing from Mafeteng, and he is the founder of Lesotho
Mountain Venture. His objective is to promote nature, physical fitness, therapy, and advocate for climate change
awareness. With 15 years of professional experience in community development, he currently serves as the
national youth president at Lesotho Red Cross, where he has led the organization’s transformation over the last
two years, ensuring accountability, effectiveness, and results-driven approaches.

Since 2000, Pheko has collaborated with various youth groups and civil society organizations in Lesotho, as well as engaged with the international community in leadership, community development, and conflict management. He has worked with London’s Skillshare office in Lesotho, collaborated with JHPIEGO leading community education teams on sexual and reproductive health, and partnered with the Lesotho office of Sentebale on children counseling. Pheko has volunteered in Russia, Sweden, and Norway on community development missions, acquiring a Diploma in Street Mediation course in Norway.

Additionally, he is the founder of Whitehorse Communications, a consulting leadership organization aimed at
impacting Basotho youth and adults to improve their lives through self-determination and self-understanding.
Pheko has also worked as a play therapist for SOS Children for four years, conducted street mediation contracts in Lesotho and Zimbabwe, and attended international meetings such as the Pan African Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, and SAPRCS meetings in Namibia, Botswana, and Eswatini. Moreover, he has organized four leadership seminars in Lesotho

EMPRESS SHOKEN FUND ANNOUNCES 103RD FUNDING DISTRIBUTION TO SUPPORT PROJECTS IN 17 COUNTRIES

The Joint Commission of the Empress Shoken Fund (ESF) has announced a new funding distribution that totals CHF 485,597 and supports projects administered by Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies in 17 countries. The commission is administered by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The projects to be supported cover a variety of topics, including youth, first aid and rescue, disaster preparedness, dissemination of humanitarian ideals, blood transfusion services and National Society development.

The countries where the projects are being implemented are Algeria, the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Lesotho, Lithuania, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Montenegro, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, South Africa and Vanuatu.

ESF received 60 applications in 2023 for the 103rd distribution of income, representing the largest number of applications ever received, covering a diverse range of humanitarian projects run by National Societies globally. With a total value of over 14 Million Swiss francs, ESF supports projects run by National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies that benefit the communities they serve in many different ways.

ESF continues to encourage new approaches with an emphasis on innovation and learning. For the second consecutive year, National Societies are incubating and testing their innovative solutions and experimenting with a host of ideas and approaches. Using a pilot methodology, awardees can also potentially scale up and implement their initiatives with the support of other funding sources following their ESF pilot. In this category, details of the selected initiatives and their respective initiatives are as follows below.

Lesotho has been affected by severe impacts of climate change such as droughts, hailstorms, snowstorms, heavy rainfall and early frost. Hence, an effective early warning system (EWS) is needed. The Lesotho Red Cross Society will use the grant to reach majority of the population through a mobile-based EWS connected to the emergency centre. Prior to official use of the EWS, a simulation exercise will be done targeting key beneficiaries. Learnings from the simulation exercise will later be adopted in the overall system.

LRCS INTERACTS WITH DDMT

LRCS INTERACTS WITH DDMT

Mohale’s Hoek, Feb. 06 — With the aim of assessing understanding of National Disaster Risk Management Ecosystem, the Lesotho Red Cross Society (LRCS), with its representation from Pretoria, RSA, has on Tuesday held a meeting with the District Disaster Management Team, (DDMT).

LRCS’s Disaster Management Coordinator Ms. Sebongile Hlubi stated that the assessment is also carried out in order to assist in improving the legislative framework of disaster risk management in Lesotho, while addressing challenges faced during disasters as well as lessons learned thereof.

Among major disasters which the DDMT pointed out to be frequenting the district include heavy rainfalls, draught and hail, strong winds which led to most houses being blown away, and an outbreak of locusts which destroyed crops, therefore leaving households vulnerable.